Many of us may not realise that our water use at home contributes to our energy bills and our household carbon emissions.
Saving water can reduce your water bill (if you’re on a water meter), reduce your energy use and bills, reduce the impact on your local environment, and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by using less energy to pump, heat and treat the water.
Water is intrinsically linked to energy. But most of us underestimate the energy water companies need to treat and pump water into homes. Scottish Water, for example, is the largest user of electricity in Scotland.
How do we use water?
We all need water and use it in so many ways around the home. Through cooking, washing our hands, showering and bathing, the litres soon add up. In addition to water bill and CO2 savings, by reducing our hot water use, we can also save on our energy bills.
From cleaning and gardening, washing the car to flushing the toilet, we’re using often using cold water, too. Reducing this can save on our water bills (if you have a water meter) and CO2 emissions associated with pumping fresh water and treating wastewater.
335 litres a day
Each household in the UK uses on average around 335 litres of water each day – that’s 139 litres per head, every day.
12% of your energy bill
About 12% of a typical gas heated household’s energy bill is from heating the water for showers, baths and hot water from the tap.
Did you know that heating water for use in our homes makes up about 4% the UK’s total carbon dioxide emissions?
The hot water in your home is likely heated by one of two methods – a combi boiler or a hot water cylinder.
A combi boiler provides instant hot water, meaning you don’t need a hot water cylinder. The combi boiler could run on gas, oil, LPG or electricity.
If you have an electric or renewable heating system, or have a regular boiler instead of a combi, you’ll likely have a hot water cylinder in your home.
Quick tips to save water
No-one likes to waste water. However, many of us don’t realise that water usage contributes to energy bills.
Simple water use changes can save you money and reduce the amount of water you waste. There are also several water saving products available to make it easier for you to save.
Change your head
If a family of four replace their inefficient shower head with a water efficient one, they could save around £55 off their gas bills and around £45 off their water bills (if they have a water meter) each year. That’s a total saving of around £100.
Turn it off
A running tap can use more than ten litres of water a minute, so turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face. Use cold water if you don’t need hot.
Don't be a drip
A dripping tap can waste thousands of litres of water a year, so make sure your taps are properly turned off and change washers promptly when taps start to drip.
Make it go further
Try to avoid wasting water from running taps while waiting for hot water.
Fill ’em up!
Make sure that dishwashers and washing machines are full before you use them, and ensure you regularly use the most efficient water and energy settings.
Using a bowl to wash up rather than a running tap can save you money on your energy and water bills if you have a water meter. In fact you only need to run a typical tap for 95 seconds before you would have filled a washing up bowl. If you need to rinse utensils or wash vegetables, use cold water if possible and don’t leave the tap running.